Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing
Have you ever sat through a training session where the trainer did the majority of the talking? How about a session where there was little interaction between attendees? If you answered yes to either of these questions you know why it is important for you too facilitate information exchange and provide opportunities for active participant engagement during learning.
Making Adult Learning Active and Keeping It Flowing by The Creative Trainer
Here are a variety of strategies that you can build into your training design to help ensure that participants get the most from a learning experience.
- Design lesson plans and materials that are interactive and allow learners to take meaningful notes, move around the room and engage with the facilitator and other attendees.
- Put learning objectives in writing (e.g. in handouts, on writing dry erase board or flip chart or on a slide) and review them at the beginning of the session. This will help learners to focus on key concepts during the session while providing a point of referral as the program progresses, especially for participants with a visual learning preference.
- To reinforce the learning objectives, ask learners before delivering session concepts on how each might be of value to them in the workplace. This stimulates their brains and gets them thinking positively about how they can potentially apply the learning following the session. During the session, you might also refer to posted copies of the objectives or the handouts and point out concepts that you just covered and how those relate to the objectives.
- Brain-based learning research indicates that the brain can only process a limited amount of information during a given period. Remember to chunk the material being delivered into small segments (e.g. no more than 7 items, plus or minus two).
- Provide a break inflow of content every 18-20 minutes or so to allow mental variety and stimulation. This might be to do an instructor-led question and answer segment, break participants into small groups for an activity or to discuss content and brainstorm or some similar event.
- Tap into the knowledge and experience of your learners. They have more collective expertise than you can hope to amass. Provide opportunities for them to share this with you and one another rather than being the “sage on the stage” with all the answers.
For hundreds of additional training tips, ideas, strategies, and techniques to get learners up and moving, check out The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.